When consumers started switching over to cable TV in place of over-the-air channels, among the key draws were sports and movies.
There are now an increasing number of ways to get sports channels without cable, including league-specific services such as NHL.tv, UFC Fight Pass, and MLB.tv.
Fans of cable TV movie channels are also benefiting from new cord-cutting options. That includes the popular movie channel, Cinemax. You can watch Cinemax without cable on almost any device.
Below, we’ll explore the best options to watch Cinemax without cable so you can get hit movies and Cinemax’s growing library of original content.
How to Watch Cinemax Online
Cinemax started and has traditionally been offered as an add-on premium cable TV channel, similar to HBO or Starz. However, you can now stream Cinemax online through a growing number of sources.
One of the best options to get Cinemax is through “skinny bundle” internet TV services. These services provide users with the option to stream live and on-demand TV online, either through a web browser or dedicated apps on different devices. The primary benefit of these services is that they are dollar-for-dollar a far better deal than traditional cable, and they’re usually far cheaper than a cable subscription.
For example, Sling TV, one of the most popular of these services, provides users with over 30 channels for $25 per month. You’ll get top channels such as AMC, ESPN, A&E, History Channel, Discovery Channel, Fox Sports, and more. Movie channels like Cinemax and other “premiums” are still add-ons, but the add-on pricing is far clearer than with traditional cable.
Let’s explore which options exist for those who want Cinemax without cable (including more on Sling TV). All of the below options let you connect to MAX GO, the standalone app Cinemax offers for anyone with a Cinemax subscription.
We mentioned Sling TV in the last section, mostly because it’s currently the most popular cord-cutting internet TV service, and because there’s minimal cost of entry to get Cinemax through this service.
You can get Cinemax through Sling TV once you’ve subscribed to any one of the three options available through the service. You can also sign up for Cinemax as an add-on service during your initial sign up, or add it on later from your user settings.
Sling TV provides users with three service options: Sling Orange for $25 per month, Sling Blue for $25 per month, or Sling Orange+Blue for $40 per month.
Through Sling Orange, you’ll get 30+ channels that include Disney-owned networks like ESPN channels, as well as the Disney Channel, and a few other favorites, like The Food Network, TBS, TNT, and Lifetime.
If you’re a Fox Sports fan, Sling Blue will be your go-to option. Sling Blue provides 40+ channels with Fox Sports, NBC Sports Network FX, AMC, NFL Network, HGTV, Syfy and more.
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There is some overlap in the channels available on both Sling Orange and Blue, but there are quite a few networks that are exclusive to one package or the other. So, if you find there are must-haves in both packages that don’t cross over, you can opt for Sling Orange+Blue for $40 per month.
Through Sling TV, you can add Cinemax for $10 per month. This means that Sling TV is a fairly cheap way to get both Cinemax and other must-have networks, at just $35 per month.
There are a few key features of Sling TV that make it a potentially good option for cord-cutters.
First, there’s the cloud DVR. Unfortunately, Sling TV does not offer DVR for free. You have to add cloud DVR service for $5 per month.
Sling TV’s cloud DVR comes with 50 hours of storage for the price. There’s also a beta version offering 100 hours of storage.
One of the best benefits of Sling TV, however, is the enormous number of devices supported by Sling. You can use Sling TV on a huge number of devices, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and even some smart TVs and gaming devices. Sling TV also works on TV streaming devices like the Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV.
Furthermore, you can stream Sling TV on multiple devices if you have the right service. While Sling Orange only allows for one stream at a time, Sling Blue lets you stream on 3 different devices at the same time.
If you have Sling Orange + Blue, these restrictions still apply, but you can watch on up to 4 devices if the channel, such as TNT or VICELAND is shared between the two packages.
You can give Sling TV a 7-day trial run for free.
In some ways, AT&T WatchTV is the cheapest possible way for consumers to get a lineup of other top cable channels alongside Cinemax.
From what we can tell, AT&T might actually be losing money on this venture (for now, anyway). That’s because you can add Cinemax to your already-low-cost AT&T WatchTV subscription for free. We’re not sure how long this offer will last, but it’s definitely one to explore.
AT&T WatchTV is $15 per month if you purchase it as a standalone service. It was created as a direct competitor to Philo.
Like Philo, AT&T WatchTV comes in at a super low monthly subscription cost because it carries no sports networks. So if you’re a sports fan, AT&T WatchTV is probably not for you. However, if all you want is entertainment TV and some cable TV news, it’s a safe option to explore.
If you’re an AT&T customer, though, you’ll get even more benefits. For example, if you have an AT&T Unlimited &More plan, you can get WatchTV for free. Just sign up on WatchTV to get started.
One major advantage that WatchTV has over Philo is that it carries premium networks like Cinemax and HBO. You can add one premium network at no additional cost when you sign up. So if you’re looking for Cinemax on the cheap, you can sign up to AT&T WatchTV, add Cinemax as your free premium network, and enjoy 30+ cable channels and Cinemax for just $15 per month.
The best feature of AT&T WatchTV is its number of supported devices. While it’s competing with Philo, it bests Philo quite easily regarding which devices you can use it on.
You can stream WatchTV through a web browser, or almost any mobile device, including Android (Philo lacks an Android app) and iOS. WatchTV also has apps for Chromecast (also missing for Philo), Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.
Unfortunately, WatchTV is pretty limited in every other way. You can’t stream on multiple devices with WatchTV at this time. You also won’t find any DVR option through this service as well. That limits the usefulness of this service compared to the competition, but at that price point, it’s hard to complain too much.
WatchTV provides a free trial for new users.
If AT&T WatchTV is a bit lacking for you, there’s good news. AT&T also owns DirecTV Now, so you can easily switch over to this beefier service instead and still get Cinemax—although at a noticeably higher price. Still, DirecTV Now is going to be a far cheaper choice than traditional cable, especially if you want to get Cinemax.
DirecTV Now ranges in price from $40 per month to $75 per month. The cheapest option, the $40 per month “Live A Little” package, offers 65+ channels. You can add Cinemax as an add-on for just $5 per month, which makes it the cheapest add-on option for Cinemax outside of AT&T WatchTV.
HBO owns Cinemax, and HBO is owned by AT&T’s Warner Media Group (formerly Time
Warner), so you can see why DirecTV Now is able to offer Cinemax at such a discounted price.
You can get a great lineup of cable channels, as well as Cinemax, for just $45 per month. Considering the “Live A Little” package comes with popular sports networks, entertainment channels, and news networks, it’s a good option for the price.
DirecTV Now has struggled with its features, but it’s slowly getting its act together. The service recently started offering cloud DVR, although it’s still limited to just 20 hours of storage. Nevertheless, that cloud storage is included in the price. There’s no extra fee.
DirecTV Now also has apps for most popular devices, including the Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV and some smart TVs. You can also watch on the web from any Windows or Mac computer, as well as on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
For those with multiple users in the same household, DirecTV Now allows up to 2 separate streams per account, which can be upped to 3 for an additional $5 per month. This isn’t the most generous simultaneous streaming policy you’ll find, but it’s also not the worst either.
DirecTV Now often has different deals and discounts, and comes with a 7-day free trial.
There are some notable benefits to getting Cinemax through Hulu with Live TV. When you subscribe to Live TV, you get a free Hulu on-demand subscription for free, and you’ll also get to enjoy a large number of great features and a very seamless user interface and user experience.
Hulu with Live TV is easy to understand. There are no complicated pricing plans here. With Hulu, you can get Live TV for $40 per month. For your money, you get over 50 channels depending on your area, including popular sports networks, entertainment channels, and news. You can also get some local TV channels from ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC in select regions.
Through Hulu, Cinemax costs $9.99 per month as an add-on channel. That brings your total cost to get Cinemax through Hulu to $49.99 per month. That means Hulu isn’t cheap, but there are some fringe benefits for choosing this method to watch Cinemax without cable, which we’ll explore next.
The best feature for Hulu with Live TV is the cloud storage. While the other services we’ve listed so far have a very limited cloud DVR, none at all, or only offer it for an extra fee, Hulu gives you 50 hours of cloud storage for no added cost. You can also stream on up to 2 devices at once.
Hulu lets you get more simultaneous streams or boost your DVR storage capacity for an added fee. The Enhanced DVR package costs $15 a month and gives you 200 hours of cloud storage, while their Unlimited Screens option (also $15 a month) lets any number of devices connect and stream to the service at the same time, so long as everyone connecting is using the same WiFi network. You can combine both of these services for $20/month.
The fact that Hulu with Live TV includes all of the on-demand Hulu service at no added cost also makes this service a real draw. Hulu’s on-demand option normally costs at least $7.99 per month with ads, so getting their on-demand service for free is a great bonus.
Interested in Hulu with Live TV? There’s a 7-day free trial that lets you access all of those features.
We list PlayStation Vue last here because this is probably the worst option to get Cinemax among the cord-cutting options available. While you’ll find getting Cinemax through PlayStation Vue is still cheaper than traditional cable, this service is ultimately the most expensive option for Cinemax fans.
Here’s the sticker shock. PS Vue starts at $44.99 per month with their “Access” plan. That’s noticeably pricier than the other options on our list as a starting point. That also gets you around 47 channels, which is lower than you’ll get with some of the other options on our list.
Part of the reason for this is because PlayStation Vue packs in a bunch of pricey sports channels into its lowest-cost package, making the minimum price point high.
With “Access”, you not only get ESPN and Disney Channels but Fox Sports networks, FX, and some news and entertainment channels. That certainly makes PS Vue a great option for those who really want sports coverage, but you can still do better with Sling TV for those same channels.
The real gut-kicker, however, is how much it costs to get Cinemax. PlayStation Vue lets you get Cinemax as an add-on service for $15 per month! That’s a far higher price than any other option on our list.
However, there’s a side note to add to this. PlayStation Vue is also the only service that will let you get Cinemax as a standalone service. So you can purchase a subscription to Cinemax for $15 per month without getting the rest of the channels, if all you want is Cinemax.
That said, if you’re planning on getting Cinemax for $15 per month through PlayStation, you might as well just sign up for AT&T WatchTV and get Cinemax as your free premium channel add-on. Doing so would still only cost you $15, and get you plenty of other channels.
It’s not all bad news with PlayStation Vue. The service still offers one of the best user experiences you’ll find, and some of the added features are extremely attractive.
There is, of course, the fact that you can stream PlayStation Vue through your PlayStation console. The service also can be streamed through dedicated apps for a large number of other devices, such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and others.
PlayStation Vue is also very generous with the simultaneous streams. You’ll get 5 simultaneous streams per account, far more than any other service on our list and a great note for those who have a large number of TV watchers in one house.
The service provides a 28-day cloud DVR for free, so you won’t have to worry about running out of cloud storage as long as you can watch your content within a month.
PlayStation Vue provides a 5-day free trial for interested cord-cutters.